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Full text of "The Egyptian Problem"

146
THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM
CHAP.
alterations were recommended in the constitution of the National Assembly, but it was clearly to be retained only as a lower chamber, subordinate to the Senate, whose opinion was to prevail in all matters of essential legislation. It was this pre-eminence assigned to an upper chamber composed of a considerable number, though not a majority, of non-Egyptians that aroused the indignation of the Egyptians, especially as it was clearly proposed with a view to secure the passage of whatever legislation the British Government might consider necessary for the maintenance of their controlling authority.
The whole Note was doubtless based on the statement of British policy conveyed to Sultan Hussein by the Residency at the time of the proclamation of the Protectorate. For this Sir William Brunyate could not reasonably be held altogether responsible, for in the absence of any later pronouncement it was necessarily part of his brief. But the manner and the tone were his, and his whole conception of the Protectorate was as masterful as his conception of the relations between British and Egyptian officials had usually shown itself. The wrath of the Nationalists against their bete noire rose to white heat, and especially of the influential section recruited from the Bar, who also ascribed to Sir William a scheme for introducing British jurisprudence and the exclusive use of English into the Law Courts—a revolution which would have been absolutely disastrous to men trained on the lines of continental jurisprudence and whose only foreign language was in most cases French.
How far the Prime Minister's indiscretion was a calculated one is not a material point. But the storm of protest which it raised helped to lend weight to the proposal that he was then making officially that he and Adli Pasha, the Minister of Justice, should proceed to England to confer personally with the British Government. The proposal was not unreasonable, and it could scarcely be alleged, as it was in the case of the Nationalist Dele-
fci   <l, financial, and professional interests, which could not be left entirely in the hands of Egyptian legislators so long as the Egyptians themselves took scarcely any part in the economic activities of the country. No particular